Merger of key agencies ‘will build disaster preparedness’

Emergency Management Australia (EMA) and the National Recovery and Resilience Agency (NRRA) will be merged to create a new single federal agency.

The new organisation, to be called the National Emergency Management, Resilience and Recovery Agency (NEMRRA), will start operating on 1 September.

Announcing the changes today, Federal Emergency Management Minister Murray Watt said the NEMRRA will combine the situational awareness, emergency preparedness, crisis management, and response functions of EMA and the recovery and resilience functions of the NRRA.

“Combining all these disaster-related functions into one agency under the Home Affairs Portfolio is a significant step forward and strengthens Australia’s ability to prepare for, manage and recover from an increasing number and severity of disasters,” Senator Watt said.

He also said the Office of the Coordinator-General of the NRRA will cease to exist, with the current Coordinator-General, Shane L. Stone, to take leave immediately before ceasing his employment with the NRRA on 31 August.

“I am confident that these structural changes will assist in delivering the Albanese Government’s commitment to ensure that Australia is better prepared for the natural disasters we know will come,” Senator Watt said.

“Due to the effects of climate change, Australia will face more major natural disasters in the future, and we have to prepare and adapt now to ensure that as a nation we’re in the best position to deal with that inevitability.”